PHOTO #1: The Victoria Public Library collaborated with Free Art Victoria to host a window-painting event for teens on April 21. The library is exploring the possibility of remodeling its outdoor space.
PHOTO #2: This conceptual rendering from the downtown master plan shows a redesigned Victoria Public Library exterior. The actual scope of improvements has not yet been determined.
The Victoria Public Library has received a $15,680 grant from Humanities Texas to design an improved outdoor space.
The community-driven downtown master plan calls for renovating the outside of the library “to provide more activation and celebrate the library as a high activity generator.” Before the pandemic, the library received about 200,000 visits per year.
In 2021, library officials reached out to library architect Maureen Arndt—now the consultant for the library’s strategic plan—about the possibility of creating an outdoor space plan for the library.
“Many libraries are strategically redesigning their outdoor areas as a way to use their space efficiently, reduce traffic density and provide their visitors with more options for meeting or reading spaces,” said Victoria Public Library Assistant Director Jessica Berger. “The library has outgrown our current space with increased foot traffic and more robust event programming in recent years, and improving our outdoor space will help us make better use of our existing footprint to meet residents’ needs.”
To fund the project, the library worked with Grant Administrator Katy Connally to apply for a Humanities Texas Relief Grant. These grants, which are a form of COVID-19 relief for cultural and educational nonprofits, are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the federal American Rescue Plan.
The grant only covers the design portion of the project. A timeline and scope of improvements have not been determined.
The library is in the middle of a strategic planning process based on community input received during the spring. The plan, which is expected to be adopted this fall, will help the library implement changes—including any outdoor improvements—that align with what residents want from their library.
For more information about library programs and services, visit www.victoriatx.gov/library or follow Victoria Public Library on Facebook.
All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this news release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.